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Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions
Water Affordability

Water Affordability

Water services are essential to the health and well-being of every community, from providing safe, reliable drinking water to removing and treating wastewater to managing the flow of stormwater. Yet water affordability and access challenges are growing in the United States as costs for providing these services rise for both utilities and their customers.

The Water Affordability Dashboard is a tool developed by the Nicholas Institute's Water Policy Program to provide a clearer picture of how affordable water services are in the United States. The dashboard helps users answer four questions for each utility:

  • Who lives in the utility's service boundaries?
  • How much do water services cost?
  • How affordable are water services?
  • How does affordability change with water usage?

The data and code behind the dashboard are open source to enable others to use the data to ask their own questions, explore solutions, and work toward improved water affordability and equity.

Water Affordability Dashboard


Water Affordability Dashboard

Interactive Tool link


Measuring Water Affordability and the Financial Capability of Utilities

Measuring Water Affordability and the Financial Capability of Utilities cover